Let’s not fool one another–Snapchat is a young game both figuratively and literally. According to Mashable, roughly 77% of college students use Snapchat every day. Additionally, only 29% of its users are over the age of 25–meaning even your youngest marketer in the office might be a bit behind.
Knowing how to use Snapchat effectively has been at the forefront of many companies’ needs. There’s a huge market of 150 million users and a core demographic that has been well-defined.
The trick with Snapchat is using resources correctly, understanding the market and actually providing users with content they want to see on the network. In this even newer world of social content promotion, you have to work with surgical touch.
In this article, we’ll provide seven tips on how to use Snapchat in your social media strategy for 2017:
1. Create Context With Stories
Storytelling has been in our blood for centuries. A great story should ultimately inspire, create an emotion and be memorable. With Snapchat Stories, the idea is exactly the same. Crafting a followable Snapchat demands a cohesive message.
This is why context is so critical to your Snapchat content. Several brands create mini series, themed videos or even short movies, like Taco Bell recently produced. To get your followers involved, you have to provide context.
Why should they follow your brand over others? What sets you apart on Snapchat? How will you provide timely content on a regular basis? These are the types of questions marketers have to ask.
Push Your Creative Side
By giving a reason to follow the content, more users will share, interact and absorb your content. Luckily for marketers, this space is still new and budding. Take advantage of this unique space by promoting some of your more creative content.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 20, 2017
This doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with the network. But to promote a brand, you have to create a space of creativity. People likely just want to follow brands on Snapchat for deals, humorous content or entertainment.
Get users wanting to see what comes next by providing a unique storyline through Snapchat Stories. Making videos with cliffhangers or “to be continued” could increase enticement. You don’t need to create a long soap opera-themed Snapchat, but instead, a story where people can enter and exit with ease. WebPageFX recommends to keep Snapchat Stories between 1-2 minutes.
2. Increase FOMO By Showing Live Events
One of the biggest emotional pulls from social media is creating the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). Whether it’s an Instagram video of the beach or Snapchat of you at an NFL playoff game, social increases FOMO.
Follow us on Snapchat for exclusive videos and updates from the 2017 #ProBowl.
👻: officialchiefs pic.twitter.com/aQpVuuFOfc
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 25, 2017
For your brand, Snapchat could be the perfect space to promote this type of content. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team likes to give behind-the-scenes content that shows off what it’s like for the players off the field. Additionally, others brands like to promote this type of content to get people involved on future events or online through social media.
The event you’re promoting doesn’t have be as big as Coachella. Instead, brands can share images and videos from other industry-specific events. Highlight things like co-marketing efforts between companies or the free swag you’re getting by just being there.
It’s tough to find time to produce high-quality Snapchat content, so show off live events, team outings and other happenings with the of the best in-the-moment social networks.
— FindSpark (@FindSpark) January 16, 2017
3. Highlight Industry Connections & Interactions
On top of showing off where you are, try to shine your industry connections and interactions. If you don’t have the budget for social media influencers, try to plan content around industry connections.
Maybe not everyone knows the marketing associate on the team you’re collaborating with, but noting both your presence together could be valuable. For example, if you were an email marketing agency, it might be good to highlight industry connections with content management providers.
The two industries likely attract a similar audience, and Snapchat can be a great way to showcase co-marketing efforts. Your content could promote things like upcoming:
- eBook collaborations
- Shared events/conferences
- Guest blogging updates
- Joint research
- Video series
This type of content will have your Snapchat users wanting to follow to find out who you’re working with next. It’s not easy publishing completely enthralling content on Snapchat. So try to send videos and image updates to your followers about your collaborations.
Some people will be more interested in what your company is doing than selfies.
4. Use Geofilters to Push Your Brand
Geofilters on Snapchat are oftentimes associated with locations such as neighborhoods, cities, sports arenas or major landmarks. However, one way companies engage with their customers on Snapchat is through on-demand geofilters.
For example, possibly the biggest brand taking advantage of its branded geofilter is Disneyland. As you can imagine, there’s a ton of Snapchat action happening already. Disneyland is able to brand their photos with fun filters specifically based on their location.
However, you don’t have to be a giant amusement park just to use branded geofilters. Other major chains like Toys R Us, Target and Starbucks use these filters for many of their store locations.
— Kevin (@KevinMillerTGT) August 11, 2016
How Much Do Snapchat Geofilters Cost?
The cost of Snapchat geofilters depends on the size of the location, duration and the filter itself. Many couples can use geofilters for 24-hour events such as weddings, which can cost roughly $15-20 a day.
On the other hand, there are business options from Snapchat, which can allow you have a duration of 30 days. But the size of the geofilter also depends on the area of your business. Sizes go from 20,000 square feet to 5 million square feet.
Geofilters are a simple way to engage your audience on a platform that can sometimes be hard to reach users. This is a simple and affordable advertising solution for businesses who want to have fun with their Snapchat customers.
5. Preview Products or Demo Releases
Creating hype around a product release is a tried-and-true marketing tactic—so why not take this effort to Snapchat? With images or 10-second videos, this is the perfect place to build hype or give previews to your new products.
Businesses on social media use this across other platforms already, but Snapchat could give the extra flair of exclusivity. If your brand wants to show off all the effort going into your newest product or service, try using Snapchat to build awareness and buzz.
For example, GE commonly uses Snapchat to give tours and introductions to team members you might not expect. In this example, GE ends its Snapchat Story with information to “stay tuned” for more on drone development.
This creates buzz and awareness of GE’s drone manufacturing and uses. Driving users to pay attention to new releases or major announcements helps create awareness while giving your audience a reason to come back.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Sell
On social media, it’s easy to fall into a lull and become overly promotional. According to the Sprout Social Q3 2016 Index, nearly 60% of respondents said the most annoying action from brands on social is being too promotional.
However, you shouldn’t let this scare you from promoting on Snapchat completely. The network has no way of directing or linking organic posts to specific landing pages. This means your posts can be promotional, but not over the top.
Again, you don’t want to only sell and promote on social, but you can use Snapchat to creatively push your products or services. One of the best at this is Bloomingdale’s. The retailer’s Snapchat often goes through a cycle of its products that you could use for an event.
— Bloomingdale's (@Bloomingdales) January 24, 2017
For example, one of their recent stories highlighted exercise and yoga gear from mats and water bottles to fitness shoes. The brand avoids being overly promotional, but shows users its products in action.
Don’t be afraid to sell and use Snapchat as a unique promotional funnel.
7. Don’t Pretend to Be Something Else
Lastly, it’s critical to keep your brand values, voice and beliefs true on Snapchat. When a new social media channel comes out, it’s easy to follow the pack on trends and content. However, no matter the demographic of your audience on the network, don’t fool them into thinking you’re something else.
What this means is to stick to your core company values. If you see a brand like Sour Patch Kids doing weird and funny content on Snapchat, you don’t have to follow suit. Instead, harmonize your social media content across all channels and effectively manage your followers.
Use tools like Sprout’s social media monitoring tools to track, measure and analyze what users say about your brand on social. While Snapchat isn’t currently integrated in Sprout, you can use our tools to filter incoming messages from Twitter and Instagram about your Snapchat content.
Get your social media organized and on track for success with a free 30-day trial.